Downhill Struggle for Vonn

Skiier grabs knee during World Cup downhill, renewing fears about her ACL

By Dr. Ray Solano
|  Sunday, Dec 22, 2013  |  Updated 12:41 PM EDT
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Downhill Struggle for Vonn

AP

Lindsey Vonn gets to the finish area of an alpine ski, women's World Cup downhill, in Val D'Isere, France, Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013. Lindsey Vonn is confident that her latest knee trouble will not stop her from competing at the Sochi Games in February. With boyfriend Tiger Woods watching from the bottom of the slope, Vonn missed a gate in Saturday's World Cup downhill at Val d'Isere as her troublesome right knee buckled under her and gave way. The American was clearly distressed after skiing off course and looked close to tears. She didn't fall but grimaced as she pulled up, clutching her knee. (AP Photo/Giovanni Auletta)

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Capital Games welcomes back Dr. Ray Solano, a chiropractor with a specialty in sports medicine who has been contributing posts about how injuries affect our teams.

Lindsey Vonn experienced a setback on Saturday, clutching her right knee in pain after losing her balance during the World Cup downhill in Val d'Isere, France. For a moment it looked like Vonn's chances for another Olympic gold might be in jeopardy.

"I didn't hurt myself more than I'm already hurt. It was a small compression, and it was fully loaded on the right ski and my knee just completely gave out,” said Vonn in an interview with the Associated Press.

When a knee “gives out”, there should always be a concern. This sensation is caused by the knee joint becoming lax after the ACL quits its job of holding it together and assuring its stability.

Vonn injured the same knee earlier this year, when she crashed in the World Championships in February. During the crash, she tore her anterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament, and fractured her lateral tibial plateau.

Vonn partially re-tore her reconstructed ACL last month and is delaying further surgery for as long as possible in hopes of skiing at the Sochi Olympics in less than 50 days.

''The thing is I have no ACL. So unless I get surgery there's nothing really magical that I can do that's going to make it better. My knee is loose and it's not stable and that's the way it's going to be from here on out. I just have to get used to it,'' said Vonn.

Vonn stated that no new damage had been done to the surgically repaired knee and her plans for the Sochi Olympics, in seven weeks, were still intact. This doesn't tell us much about her prognosis, but I'll be sure to keep you updated in the coming weeks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Dr. Ray Solano is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with a specialty in sports medicine, and a frequent guest on News4 Midday. Follow @DrRaySolano on Twitter.

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